History of the Foundation

View grantees in the Image Library

Wenner-Gren Symposium Series (Berg): 2002 to 2010

Plagues and Epidemics, 2010
(eds.) Ann Herring and Alan C. Swedlund
Ritual Communication, 2009
(eds.) Gunter Senft and Ellen B. Basso
Indigenous Experience Today, 2007
(eds.) Marisol de la Cadena and Orin Starn
Anthropology Put To Work, 2007
(eds.) Les Field and Richard G. Fox
Where The Wild Things Are Now: Domestication Reconsidered , 2007
(eds.) Rebecca Cassidy and Molly Mullin
Roots of Human Sociality: Culture, Cognition and Interaction , 2006
(eds.) N. J. Enfield and Stephen C. Levinson
Sensible Objects: Colonialism, Museums and Material Culture , 2006
(eds.) Elizabeth Edwards, Chris Gosden and Ruth B. Phillips
World Anthropologies, 2006
(eds.) Gustavo Lins Ribeiro and Arturo Escobar
Embedding Ethics, 2005
(eds.) Lynn Meskell and Peter Pels
Hearing Cultures: Essays on Sound, Listening and Modernity, 2004
(ed.) Veit Erlmann
Property in Question: Value Transformation in the Global Economy, 2004
(eds.) Katherine Verdery and Caroline Humphrey
Anthropology Beyond Culture, 2002
(eds.) Richard G. Fox and Barbara J. King

Edited by Ann Herring and Alan C. Swedlund

Until recently, plagues were thought to belong in the ancient past. Now there are deep worries about global pandemics. This book presents views from anthropology about this much publicized and complex problem.
The authors take us to places where epidemics are erupting, waning, or gone, and to other places where they have not yet arrived, but where a frightening story line is already in place. They explore public health bureaucracies and political arenas where the power lies to make decisions about what is, and is not, an epidemic. They look back into global history to uncover disease trends and look ahead to a future of expanding plagues within the context of climate change.
The chapters are written from a range of perspectives, from the science of modelling epidemics to the social science of understanding them. Patterns emerge when people are engulfed by diseases labeled as epidemics but which have the hallmarks of plague. There are cycles of shame and blame, stigma, isolation of the sick, fear of contagion, and end-of-the-world scenarios. Plague, it would seem, is still among us.

Plagues and Epidemics in Anthropological Perspective, D. Ann Herring and Alan C. Swedlund
Ecosyndemics: Global Warming and the Coming Plagues of the Twenty-first Century, Merrill Singer
Pressing Plagues: On the Mediated Communicability of Epidemics, Charles L. Briggs
On Creating Epidemics, Plagues, and Other Wartime Alarums and Excursions: Enumerating versus Estimating Civilian Mortality in Iraq,  James Trostle
Avian Influenza and the Third Epidemiological Transition, Ron Barrett
Deconstructing an Epidemic: Cholera in Gibraltar, Lawrence A. Sawchuk
The End of a Plague? Tuberculosis in New Zealand, Judith Littleton, Julie Park, Linda Bryder,
Epidemics and Time: Influenza and Tuberculosis duringand after the 1918–1919 Pandemic, Andrew Noymer
Everyday Mortality in the Time of Plague: Ordinary People in Massachusetts before and during the 1918Influenza Epidemic, Alan C. Swedlund,
The Coming Plague of Avian Influenza, D. Ann Herring and Stacy Lockerbie
Past into Present: History and the Making of Knowledgeabout HIV/AIDS and Aboriginal People, Mary-Ellen Kelm
Accounting for Epidemics: Mathematical Modeling andAnthropology, Steven M. Goodreau
Social Inequalities and Dengue Transmission in Latin America, Arachu Castro, Yasmin Khawja, and James Johnston
From Plague, an Epidemic Comes: Recounting Disease as Contamination and Configuration, Warwick Anderson
Making Plagues Visible: Yellow Fever, Hookworm, and Chagas’ Disease, 1900–1950, Ilana Lowy
Metaphors of Malaria Eradication in Cold War Mexico, Marcos Cueto
”Steady with Custom”: Mediating HIV Prevention in theTrobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea, Katherine Lepani
Explaining Kuru: Three Ways to Think about an Epidemic, Shirley Lindenbaum

Available now through Berg Publishers

Back to the top


edited by Gunter Senft and Ellen B. Basso

This volume presents a new approach to "ritual communication" by an international group of scholars from a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective, rich with empirical data and path breaking for future theorizing on the topic.
The chapters show how ritual communication involves witnessing a future through the making of cultural knowledge. They show ritual communication to be a highly "self-oriented" multimodal process in which the human body, temporalization, and spatialized settings play crucial roles. Ritual communication encompasses both verbal and sensory attributes. It is in part dependent upon prior formulaic and repeated action, and is thus anticipated within particular contexts of social interaction. It is performed and therefore subject to evaluation by its participants according to standards defined by language ideologies, local aesthetics, contexts of use, and interpersonal relations.
The authors here emphasize the variety of participatory and experiential aspects of ritual communication in contemporary African, Native American, Asian, and Pacific cultures. Among the forms covered are ritual constraints on everyday interaction, gossip, private and public encounters, political meetings and public demonstrations, rites of passage, theatrical performances, magical formulae, shamanic chants, affinal civilities, and leaders' ceremonial discourse.

The book is ideal for students and scholars in anthropology and linguistic anthropology in particular.


Introduction: Ritual Communication, Ellen B. Basso and Gunter Senft
Little Rituals, John B. Haviland
Everyday Ritual in the Residential World, N. J. Enfield
Trobriand Islanders' Forms of Ritual Communication, Gunter Senft
”Like a Crab Teaching its Young to Walk Straight”: Proverbiality, semantics and indexicality in English and Malay, Cliff Goddard
Access Rituals in West African Communities: an Ethnopragmatic Perspective, Felix K. Ameka
Ritual and the Circulation of Experience, Suzanne Oakdale
Communicative Resonance across Settings: Marriage Arrangement, Initiation and Political Meetings in Kenya, Corinne A. Kratz
Ritualised Performances as Total Social Facts: the House of Multiple Spirits, Ingjerd Hoëm
“Pengunjuk Rasa” (expression of feelings) in Sumba: “Bloody Thursday” in its Cultural and Historical Context, Joel C. Kuipers
Civility and Deception in two Kalapalo Ritual Forms, Ellen B. Basso
Private Ritual Encounters, Public Ritual Indexes, Michael Silverstein
“Kantámpranku awiúnkanam enkémturnai…” “While I sing I am Sitting in a Real Air-Plane…” Innovative Contents in Shuar and Achuar Ritual Communication, Maurizio Gnerre
Interior Dialogues: The Co-Voicing of Ritual in Solitude, John W. Du Bois

Available now through Berg Publishers.

Back to the top


edited by Marisol de la Cadena and Orin Starn

A century ago, the idea of indigenous people as an active force in the contemporary world was unthinkable. It was assumed that native societies everywhere would be swept away by the forward march of the West and its own peculiar brand of progress and civilization.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Indigenous social movements wield new power, and groups as diverse as Australian Aborigines, Ecuadorian Quichuas, and New Zealand Maoris, have found their own distinctive and assertive ways of living in the present world. Indigenous Experience Today draws together essays by prominent scholars in anthropology and other fields examining the varied face of indigenous politics in Bolivia, Botswana, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, and the United States, amongst others. The book challenges accepted notions of indigeneity as it examines the transnational dynamics of contemporary native culture and politics around the world.


Introduction, Marisol de la Cadena and Orin Starn
Part 1: Indigenous Identities, Old and New
Indigenous Voice, Anna Tsing
Tibetan Indigeneity: Translations, Resemblances, and Uptake, Emily T. Yeh
‘Our Struggle Has Just Begun': Experiences of Belonging and Mapuche Formations of Self, Claudia Briones
Part 2: Territory and Questions of Sovereignty
Indigeneity as Relational Identity: The Construction of Australian Land Rights, Francesca Merlan
“Choctaw Tribal Sovereignty at the Turn of the 21st Century, Valerie Lambert
Sovereignty's Betrayals, Michael F. Brown
Part 3: Indigeneity Beyond Borders
Varieties of Indigenous Experience: Diasporas, Homelands, Sovereignties, James Clifford
Diasporic Media and Hmong/Miao Formulations of Nativeness and Displacement, Louisa Schein
Bolivian Indigeneity in Japan: Folklorized Music Performance, Michelle Bigenho
Part 4: The Boundary Politics of Indigeneity
Indian Indigeneities: Adivasi Engagements with Hindu Nationalism in India, Amita Baviskar
‘Ever-Diminishing Circles': The Paradoxes of Belonging in Botswana, Francis B. Nyamnjoh
The Native and the Neoliberal Down Under: Neoliberalism and ‘Endangered Authenticities' Linda Tuhiwai Smith
Part 5: Indigenous Self-Representation, Non-Indigenous Collaborators and the Politics of Knowledge
Melting Glaciers and Emerging Histories in the Saint Elias Mountains, Julie Cruikshank
The Terrible Nearness of Distant Places: Making History at the National Museum of the American Indian, Paul Chaat Smith
Afterword:Indigeneity Today, Mary Louise Pratt

Available now through Berg Publishers.

Back to the top


edited by Les Field and Richard G. Fox

How do anthropologists work today and how will they work in future? While some anthropologists have recently called for a new "public" or "engaged" anthropology, profound changes have already occurred, leading to new kinds of work for a large number of anthropologists. The image of anthropologists "reaching out" from protected academic positions to a vaguely defined "public" is out of touch with the working conditions of these anthropologists, especially those junior and untenured.

The papers in this volume show that anthropology is put to work in diverse ways today. They indicate that the new conditions of anthropological work require significant departures from canonical principles of cultural anthropology, such as replacing ethnographic rapport with multiple forms of collaboration. This volume's goal is to help graduate students and early-career scholars accept these changes without feeling something essential to anthropology has been lost. There really is no other choice for most young anthropologists.

Introduction: How Does Anthropology Work Today? Les W. Field, University of New Mexico, USA and Richard G. Fox, University of North Carolina, USA
Anthropological Collaborations in Colombia. Joanne Rappaport, Georgetown University, USA
Gray Spaces and Endless Negotiations: Forensic Anthropology and Human Rights.  Mercedes Doretti, Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) and Jennifer Burrell, SUNY at Albany, USA
Collaborating to Meet the Goals of a Native Sovereign Nation: The Tule River Tribal History Project.  Gelya Frank, University of Southern California, USA
Doing Cultural Anthropology and Disability Studies in Rehabilitation Training and Research Contexts.  Pamela Block, SUNY at Stony Brook
In Praise of "Reckless Minds": Making a Case for Activist Anthropology. Charles R. Hale, University of Texas at Austin, USA
What Do Indicators Indicate? Reflections on the Trials and Tribulations of Using Food Aid to Promote Development in Haiti.  Drexel G. Woodson, University of Arizona, USA
Working Anthropology: A View from the Women's Research Arena.  Linda Basch, National Council for Research on Women
Potential Collaborations and Disjunctures in Australian Work Sites: An Experiential Rendering. Sandy Toussaint, University of Western Australia
The Dilemmas of "Working" Anthropology in Twenty-first-Century India. Nandini Sundar, Delhi School of Economics, India
Ethnographic Alchemy: Perspectives on Anthropological Work from Northern Madagascar. Andrew Walsh, Wilfred Laurier University and University of Western Ontario, USA
Reflections on the Symposium.  Douglas E. Foley, University of Texas at Houston

Available now through Berg Publishers.

Back to the top


Domestication Reconsidered

edited by Rebecca Cassidy and Molly Mullin

Domestication has often seemed a matter of the distant past, a series of distinct events involving humans and other species that took place long ago. Today, as genetic manipulation continues to break new barriers in scientific and medical research, we appear to be entering an age of biological control. Are we also writing a new chapter in the history of domestication?

Where the Wild Things Are Now explores the relevance of domestication for anthropologists and scholars in related fields who are concerned with understanding ongoing change in processes affecting humans as well as other species.

From the pet food industry and its critics to salmon farming in Tasmania, the protection of endangered species in Vietnam and the pigeon fanciers who influenced Darwin, Where the Wild Things Are Now provides an urgently needed re-examination of the concept of domestication against the shifting background of relationships among humans, animals and plants.


Introduction: Domestication Reconsidered. Rebecca Cassidy, Goldsmiths College, University of London
The Domestication of Anthropology.  Nerissa Russell, Cornell University, USA
Animal Interface: The Generosity of Domestication.  Nigel Clark, Open University
Selection and the Unforeseen Consequences of Domestication.   Helen Leach, University of Otago, New Zealand
Agriculture or Architecture? The Beginnings of Domestication.  Peter J. Wilson, formerly University of Otago, New Zealand
Monkey and Human Interconnections: The Wild, the Captive, and the In-Between.  Agustin Fuentes, University of Notre Dame
"An Experiment on a Gigantic Scale": Darwin and the Domestication of Pigeons.  Gillian Feeley-Harnik, University of Michigan, USA
The Metaphor of Domestication in Genetics.  Karen Rader, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Domestication "Downunder": Atlantic Salmon Farming in Tasmania.  Marianne Lien, University of Oslo, Norway
Putting the Lion out at Night: Domestication and the Taming of the Wild.  Yuka Suzuki, Bard College, USA
Of Rice, Mammals, and Men: The Politics of "Wild" and "Domesticated" Species in Vietnam.   Pamela D. McElwee, Arizona State University, USA
Feeding the Animals.   Molly H. Mullin, Albion College, USA

Available now through Berg Publishers.

Back to the top



 bookcover ROOTS OF HUMAN SOCIALITY: Culture, Cognition and Interaction
edited by N.J. Enfield and Stephen C. Levinson

This book marks an exciting convergence towards the idea that human culture and cognition are rooted in the character of human social interaction, which is unique in the animal kingdom. Roots of Human Sociality attempts for the first time to explore the underlying properties of social interaction viewed from across many disciplines, and examines their origins in infant development and in human evolution. Are interaction patterns in adulthood affected by cultural differences in childhood upbringing? Apes, unlike human infants of only 12 months, fail to understand pointing and the intention behind it. Nevertheless apes can imitate and analyze complex behavior - how do they do it? Deaf children brought up by speaking parents invent their own languages. How might adults deprived of a fully organized language communicate? This book makes the case that the study of these sorts of phenomenon holds the key to understanding the foundations of human social life. The conclusion: our unique brand of social interaction is at the root of what makes us human.

Introduction: Human Sociality as a New Interdisciplinary Field.  by N.J. Enfield and Stephen C. Levinson
Part 1: Properties of Human Interaction
On the Human 'Interaction Engine'.  Stephen C. Levinson
Interaction: The Infrastructure for Social Institutions, the Natural Ecological Niche for Language, and the Arena in which Culture is Enacted.  Emanuel A. Schegloff
Human Sociality as Mutual Orientation in a Rich Interactive Environment: Multimodal Utterances and Pointing in Aphasia.  Charles Goodwin
Social Actions, Social Commitments.  Herbert H. Clark
Part 2: Psychological Foundations
Infant Pointing at 12 Months: Communicative Goals, Motives, and Social-Cognitive Abilities.  Ulf Liszkowski
The Development Interdependence of Theory of Mind and Language.  Janet Wilde Astington
Constructing the Social Mind: Language and False-Belief Understanding.  Jennie E. Pyers
Sylvia's Recipe: The Role of Imitation and Pedagogy in the Transmission of Cultural Knowledge.  Gyorgy Gergely and Gergely Csibra
Part 3: Culture and Sociality
The Thought that Counts: The Interactional Consequences of Variation in Cultural Theories of Meaning.  Eve Danziger
Cultural Perspectives on Infant-Caregiver Interaction.  Suzanne Gaskin
Joint Commitment and Common Ground in a Ritual Event.  William F. Hanks
Habits and Innovations: Designing Language for New, Technologically Mediated Sociality.  Elizabeth Keating
Part 4: Cognition in Interaction
Meeting Other Minds through Gesture: How Children Use their Hands to Reinvent Language and Distribute Cognition. Susan Goldin-Meadow
The Distributed Cognition Perspective on Human Interaction.  Edwin Hutchins
Social Consequences of Common Ground.  N.J. Enfield
Why a Deep Understanding of Cultural Evolution is Incompatible with Shallow Psychology.  Dan Sperber
Part 5: Evolutionary Perspectives
Culture and the Evolution of the Human Social Instincts.  R. Boyd and P. J. Richerson
Parsing Behavior: A Mundane Origin for an Extraordinary Ability.   Richard W. Byrne
Why Don't Apes Point?   Michael Tomasello

Available now through Berg Publishers.

Back to the top

 bookcover SENSIBLE OBJECTS: Colonialism, Museums and Material Culture
edited by Elizabeth Edwards, Chris Gosden and Ruth B. Phillips

Anthropologists of the senses have long argued that cultures differ in their sensory registers. This groundbreaking volume applies this idea to material culture and the social practices that endow objects with meanings in both colonial and postcolonial relationships. It challenges the privileged position of the sense of vision in the analysis of material culture. Contributors argue that vision can only be understood in relation to the other senses. In this they present another challenge to the assumed western five-sense model, and show how our understanding of material culture in both historical and contemporary contexts might be reconfigured if we consider the role of smell, taste, touch and sound, as well as sight, in making meanings about objects.


Part 1. The Senses
Enduring and Endearing Feelings and the Transformation of Material Culture in West Africa,” by Kathryn Linn Geurts and Elvis Gershon Adikah
Studio Photography and the Aesthetics of Citizenship in The Gambia, West Africa,” by Liam Buckley
Cooking Skill, the Senses, and Memory: The Fate of Practical Knowledge,” by David Sutton
Part 2.Colonialism
Mata Ora: Chiseling the Living Face, Dimensions of Maori Tattoo,” by Ngahuia Te Awekotuku
Smoked Fish and Fermented Oil: Taste and Smell among the Kwakwaka'wakw,” by Aldona Jonaitis
Sonic Spectacles of Empire: The Audio-Visual Nexus, Delhi–London, 1911–12,” Tim Barringer
Part 3.Museums
The Museum as Sensescape: Western Sensibilities and Indigenous Artifacts,” by Constance Classen and David Howes
The Fate of the Senses in Ethnographic Modernity: The Margaret Mead Peoples of the Pacific Hall at the American Museum of Natural History,” by Diane Losche
Contact Points: Museums and the Lost Body Problem,” by Jeffrey Feldman
The Beauty of Letting Go: Fragmentary Museums and Archaeologies of Archive,” by Sven Ouzman
Available now through Berg Publishers.

Back to the top

 bookcoverWORLD ANTHROPOLOGIES: Disciplinary Transformations within Systems of Power
edited by Gustavo Lins Ribeiro and Arturo Escobar

Since its inception, anthropology's authority has been based on the assumption that it is a unified discipline emanating from the West. In an age of heightened globalization, anthropologists have failed to discuss consistently the current status of their practice and its mutations across the globe. World Anthropologies is the first book to provoke this conversation from various regions of the world in order to assess the diversity of relations between regional or national anthropologies and a contested, power-laden Western discourse. Can a planetary anthropology cope with both the 'provincial cosmopolitanism' of alternative anthropologies and the 'metropolitan provincialism' of hegemonic schools? How might the resulting 'world anthropologies' challenge the current panorama in which certain allegedly national anthropological traditions have more paradigmatic weight - and hence more power - than others? Critically examining the international dissemination of anthropology within and across national power fields, contributors address these questions and provide the outline for a veritable world anthropologies project.  

"World Anthropologies: Disciplinary Transformations within Systems of Power," by Gustavo Lins Ribeiro and Arturo Escobar
Part 1: Transnationalism and State Power
"Reshaping Anthropology: A View from Japan," by Shinji Yamashita
"Transformations in Siberian Anthropology: An Insider's Perspective," by Nikolai Vakhtin
"In Search of Anthropology in China: A Discipline Caught in a Web of Nation Building, Socialist Capitalism, and Globalization," by Josephine Smart
"Mexican Anthropology's Ongoing Search for Identity," by Esteban Krotz
Part 2: Power and Hegemony in World Anthropologies
"How Many Centers and Peripheries in Anthropology? A Critical View of France," by Eduardo P. Archetti
"The Production of Knowledge and the Production of Hegemony: Anthropological Theory and Political Struggles in Spain," by Susana Narotzky
"Anthropology in a Postcolonial Africa: The Survival Debate," by Paul Nchoji Nkwi
Part 3: Epistemological, Sociological, and Disciplinary Predicaments
"Generating Nontrivial Knowledge in Awkward Situations: Anthropology in the United Kingdom," by Eeva Berglund
"The Production of Other Knowledges and Its Tensions: From Andeanist Anthropology to Interculturalidad?" by Marisol de la Cadena
"A Time and Place beyond and of the Center: Australian Anthropologies in the Process of Becoming," by Sandy Toussaint
"Official Hegemony and Contesting Pluralisms," by Shiv Visvanathan
Part 4: From Anthropology Today to World Anthropologies
"The Pictographics of Tristesse: An Anthropology of Nation Building in the Tropics and Its Aftermath," by Otavio Velho
"'World Anthropologies': Questions," by Johannes Fabian
Available now through Berg Publishers.

Back to the top

edited by Lynn Meskell and Peter Pels
2005 Anthropologists who talk about ethics generally mean the code of practice drafted by a professional association for implementation by its members. As this book convincingly shows, such a conception is far too narrow. A more radical approach is to recognize that moral judgments are made at every juncture of scientific practice and they require a negotiation of responsibility with all stakeholders in the research enterprise. Embedding Ethics questions why ethics have been divorced from scientific expertise. Invoking different disciplinary practices from biological, archaeological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology, contributors show how ethics should be resituated at the heart of, rather than exterior to, scientific activity. Positioning the researcher as a negotiator of significant truths rather than an adjudicator of a priori precepts enables contributors to relocate ethics in new sets of social and scientific relationships triggered by recent globalization processes - from new forms of intellectual and cultural ownership to accountability in governance, and the very ways in which people are studied. Case studies from ethnographic research, museum display, archaeological fieldwork and professional monitoring illustrate both best practice and potential pitfalls. This important book is an essential guide for all anthropologists who wish to be active contributors to the discussion on ethics and the ethical practice of their profession. Contents:
Jonathan Marks, "Your Body, My Property: The Problem of Colonial Genetics in a Post-Colonial World"
Alison Wylie, "The Promise and Perils of an Ethics of Stewardship"
Peter Pels, "'Where There Aren't No Ten Commandments': Redefining Ethics during the Darkness in El Dorado Scandal"
Joel S. Kahn, "Anthropology's Malaysian Interlocutors: Towards a Cosmopolitan Ethics of Anthropological Practice"
Lynn Meskell, "Sites of Violence: Terrorism, Tourism and Heritage in the Archaeological Present"
Pradeep Jeganathan, "Pain, Politics, and the Epistemological Ethics of Anthropological Disciplinarity"
Martin Hall, "Situational Ethics and Engaged Practice: the Case of Archaeology in Africa"
Glenn Davis Stone, "A Science of the Gray: Malthus, Marx, and the Ethics of Studying Crop Biotechnology"
Craig Howe, "The Moralities of Exhibiting Indians"
Don Brenneis, "Documenting Ethics"
Rosemary A. Joyce, "Solid Histories for Fragile Nations: Archaeology as Cultural Patrimony"

Available now through Berg Publishers.

Back to the top

 bookcoverHEARING CULTURES: Essays on Sound, Listening and Modernity
edited by Veit Erlmann
2004 Vision is typically treated as the defining sense of the modern era and a powerful vehicle for colonial and postcolonial domination. This is in marked contrast to the almost total absence of accounts of hearing in larger cultural processes. Hearing Cultures is a timely examination of the elusive, often evocative, and sometimes cacophonous auditory sense - from the intersection of sound and modernity, through to the relationship between audio-technological advances and issues of personal and urban space. As cultures and communities grapple with the massive changes wrought by modernization and globalization, Hearing Cultures presents an important new approach to understanding our world. Contents: Veit Erlmann, "But What of the Ethnographic Ear? Anthropology, Sound and the Senses"
Bruce R. Smith, "Listening to the Wild Blue Yonder: The Challenges of Acoustic Ecology"
Paul Carter, "Ambiguous Traces, Mishearing and Auditory Space"
Janice B. Nuckolls, "Language and Nature in Sound Alignment"
Penelope Gouk, "Raising Spirits and Restoring Souls: Early Modern Medical Explanations for Music's Effects"
Douglas Kahn, "Ether Ore: Mining Vibrations in American Modernist Music"
Charles Hirschkind, "Hearing Modernity: Egypt, Islam and the Pious Ear"
Steven Connor, "Edison's Teeth: Touching Hearing"
Michael Bull, "Thinking about Sound, Proximity, and Distance in Western Experience: The Case of Odysseus's Walkman"
Emily Thompson, "Writing the World: Acoustical Engineers and the Empire of Sound in the Motion Picture Industry, 1927-1930"
Available through Berg Publishers.

Back to the top

 bookcoverPROPERTY IN QUESTION:Value Transformation in the Global Economy
edited by Katherine Verdery and Caroline Humphrey
2004 How has it come about that indigenous cultures, body parts, and sequences of musical notes are considered property? How has the movement from collective to privatized systems affected notions of property? At what point in transaction chains do native cultures, indigenous medicines, or cyberdata become objects and therefore propertized, and what are the social, economic, and ethical considerations for such transformations? Addressing these hotly contested issues and many more, Property in Question interrogates the very concept of property and what is happening to it in the contemporary world, in case studies ranging from Romania to Kazakhstan, Africa to North America. The book examines not only the changing character of the property concept, but also its ideological foundations and political usages. Authors address bio-transactions, music copyright, cyberspace, oil prospecting, debates over privatization of land and factories, and dilemmas arising with new forms of ownership of businesses. Offering a fresh perspective on contemporary economic transformation, this volume is a long overdue investigation of the power of the private property concept, as well as an exploration of how the global economy may be subtly, even invisibly, changing what property means and how we relate to it. Contents:
Bronwyn Parry, "Bodily Transactions: Regulating a New Space of Flows in 'Bio-Information'"
Michael A. Brown, "Heritage as Property"
Anthony Seeger, "The Selective Protection of Musical Ideas: The 'Creators' and the Dispossessed"
Suzana Sawyer, "Crude Properties: The Sublime and Slime of Oil Operations in the Ecuadorian Amazon"
Cori Hayden, "Prospecting's Publics"
Katherine Verdery, "The Obligations of Ownership: Restoring Rights to Land in Postsocialist Transylvania"
David Sneath, "Proprietary Regimes and Sociotechnical Systems: Rights over Land in Mongolia's 'Age of the Market'"
Elizabeth Povinelli, "At Home in the Violence of Recognition"
Michael Rowlands, "Cultural Rights and Wrongs: Uses of the Concept of Property"
Arvin Rajagopal, "The Menace of Hawkers: Property Forms and the Politics of Market Liberalization in Mumbai"
Catherine Alexander, "Value, Relations, and Changing Bodies: Privatization and Property Rights in Kazakhstan"
Carol M. Rose, "Economic Claims and the Challenges of New Property"
Bill Maurer, "Cyberspatial Properties: Taxing Questions about Proprietary Regimes"

Available through Berg Publishers.

Back to the top

edited by Richard G. Fox and Barbara J. King
2002 Culture is a vexed concept within anthropology. From their earliest studies, anthropologists have often noted the emotional attachment of people to their customs, even in cases where this loyalty can make for problems. Do anthropologists now suffer the same kind of disability with respect to their continuing emotional attachment to the concept of culture? This book considers the state of the culture concept in anthropology and finds fault with a ‘love it or leave it' attitude. Rather than pledging undying allegiance or summarily dismissing it, the volume argues that anthropology can continue with or without a concept of culture, depending on the research questions being asked, and, furthermore, that when culture is retained, no single definition of it is practical or necessary. Offering sensible solutions to a topic of hot debate, this book will be essential reading for anyone seeking to learn what a concept of culture can offer anthropology, and what anthropology can offer the concept of culture.  

Xavier Andrade, "'Culture' as Stereotype: Public Uses in Ecuador"
Fredrik Barth, "Toward a Richer Description and Analysis of Cultural Phenomena"
Penelope Brown, "Language as a Model for Culture: Lessons from the Cognitive Sciences"
William H. Durham, "Cultural Variation in Time and Space: The Case for a Populational Theory of Culture"
Christopher M. Hann, "All Kulturvölker Now? Social Anthropological Reflections on the German-AmericanTradition"
Barbara J.King, "On Patterned Interactions and Culture in Great Apes"
Yoshinobu Ota, "Culture and Anthropology in Ethnographic Modernity"
Stuart Shankar, "The Broader Implications of Borderline Areas of Language Research"
Christina Toren, "Anthropology as the Whole Science of What It Is to Be Human"
Michel-Rolph Trouillot, "Adieu, Culture: A New Duty Arises"
Richard A. Wilson, "The Politics of Culture in Post-apartheid South Africa"
Rita P. Wright, "Archaeology and Culture: Sites of Power and Process"

Available through Berg Publishers

Back to the top

Return to international symposia page